If you individually break down the top eSports games markets, League Of Legends, Call Of Duty, Dota 2, Fortnite, Valorant, and Counter-Strike, you have six internationally successful multi-million dollar standalone industries. While eSports tournaments are growing in size, the organizers who put together these vast, groundbreaking events are driven by a game's popularity. Suppose a game has a limited number of active online players. In that case, it isn't big enough to have a colossal eSports tournament. However, plenty of successful games aren't big enough to have their own eSports tournaments - so how did Counter-Strike rise to the upper echelons of such a competitive and saturated gaming genre?
The Counter-Strike Phenomenon
Some analysts stated in 2012 that Counter-Strike had entered the eSports world too late, and the game was at a disadvantage to games like Call Of Duty, a similar tactical first-person shooter game that has also achieved global notoriety and vast international success. Quite a few gamers don't know that Counter-Strike has been around for longer than Counter-Strike, with Counter-Strike first springing into development in the late 90s and early 2000s and the first Call Of Duty game hitting shelves in 2003.
One of the most significant driving factors behind Counter-Strike's immense global popularity is that it drives a lot of gambling markets that have emerged over the last few years in the world of professional video gaming. Counter-Strike 2 (CS2) is set for release in the summer of 2023, and this will no doubt be another thriving gambling market fuelled by the innovative, new version of the top-rated first-person shooter game.
Valve, who are the brains behind the games, has stated that the game will be free as an upgrade from the previous game Global Offensive, and Counter-Strike fans are already hotly anticipating this release, as are the bettors who enjoy betting on the outcome of Counter-Strike tournaments. CS2 betting odds markets will likely follow the same patterns as their predecessors, where you can bet on head-to-head games, individual matches, or outright tournament winners. This interest helps to stimulate talking points on social media, which helps to keep the game in the conversation amongst the other top games. Still, most importantly, the game itself is exceptionally well-designed.
Positives Of Counter-Strike
There's no definitive answer as to why Counter-Strike is such a popular eSports game. Given that Call Of Duty smashed through every possible record for a first-person shooter at the start of the 2010s, it felt as though it would go on to dominate the eSports landscape. However, the brains behind Counter-Strike were keen to show that this genre was big enough for both, and they have delivered on that promise. Alongside the incredible design of the game and the levels, there is also a budding and enthusiastic community of millions of gamers committed to Counter-Strike ahead of any other game.
The camaraderie and the professionalism that emerges from this burning passion results in communities of gamers and professional eSports teams with a significant enthusiasm for the game itself. Counter-Strike teams have been credited with trailblazing and thinking of new innovative ideas to generate even more money and interest within the sector, bringing a lot of promise, interest, and visibility to the industry.
It's the community that drives the popularity, and this applies to all globally popular eSports. Although it helps for a game to be well-crafted and more engaging than any of its rivals, there needs to be a hardcore group of gamers who have a passionate drive to promote the brand and an almost unshakeable loyalty toward the brand to feverishly create a springboard where these games can continue to operate at the highest level of eSports competition.
While sports eSports games such as NFL Madden and NBA 2K comprise a passionate fanbase, the critical difference to remember is that many of these fans are dedicated and loyal to the professional teams. Whereas in eSports like Counter-Strike, the players are more focussed on the brand and the video game itself, which helps to stir up tremendous hysteria and a more loyal fanbase that will travel to watch the eSports tournaments unfold and leads players to seek out other video gamers who also have a passion for the legendary Valve game.
The passion millions of video gamers have for their chosen title is something money can't buy, and this is the magical ingredient that sets games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike apart from their competition. It's this type of mentality that multiple game design companies and developers are keen to capture whenever they release a new title - Valve will be hoping this same hysteria and dedicated fanbase help to carry CS2 when that finally comes out. Still, the truth is that the Counter-Strike brand has loyalty, and CS2 will almost undoubtedly become a huge success.